Tens of kilobytes? (take II)

Subject: Tens of kilobytes? (take II)
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 16 Oct 2001 11:36:09 -0400

Dick Margulis observes: <<I see an immediate problem with this. Network
speeds are generally expressed in [metric prefix]_bits_ per second. File
sizes are generally expressed in [metric prefix]_bytes_. Because of this, I
can't see any way to cast your construction that won't either confuse an end
user or tick off a techie. (As you know, you can't just multiply a file size
by eight to arrive at the number of bits that get transmitted.)>>

Good point. Jane didn't mention audience, and it's not fair for me to simply
assume. I think my _approach_ (expressing in terms the user appreciates)
remains valid, but you came up with an elegant simplification that works for
both audiences:

<<I would leave phrases like "data transfer rate" out of it altogether and
just talk about the size of the file (or message) to be transmitted and the
length of time it will take.>>

That works just fine provided that file size is expressed in terms that are
meaningful to the user, and reasonably consistent (as would be the case for
Kilobytes). For example, "number of pages" speaks clearly, but may be
irrelevant if some files are text-only and others are graphics-heavy. I
don't have enough context to know what the appropriate units would be.

--Geoff Hart, FERIC, Pointe-Claire, Quebec
geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
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